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Midlife Fitness Keeps Chronic Disease at Bay

Does it really help to start exercising in our 40s or 50s?  Or by that time have we left it too late to do much good?

Investigators at the University of Texas and The Cooper Institute have found that we should still “go for it”.  According to their recent study, being physically active during midlife helps extend lifespan and increases the chances of aging healthily and preventing chronic illness.

Analyses of 18,670 patients showed that when patients increased fitness levels by 20% in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, they decreased their chances of developing chronic diseases—congestive heart failure, Alzheimer disease, and colon cancer—decades later by 20%.

"What sets this study apart is that it focuses on the relationship between midlife fitness and quality of life in later years," said Benjamin Willis, MD, MPH, lead author of the study. "Fitter individuals aged well with fewer chronic illnesses to impact their quality of life."

My parents are coming to visit this month from Australia.  They are in their 70s but look amazing.  They’re still working out most days and climbing mountains.  Literally climbing mountains!  Now that’s the kind of life that you may be able to have in your retirement ...

Should We Go Bare?

I’m sure you have heard about people running in “finger shoes” and bare feet.  It is a movement that has probably passed “fad” status amongst runners.  And possibly for good reason.  There is evidence that when a healthy, normal, well trained foot (attached to a normal healthy body) walks or runs without much support or protection, the individual experiences less injuries.  In a recent study, runners in traditional shoes were found to be over three times more likely to report injuries than experienced “minimalist” shoe wearers.

Now the authors of the study do caution that further research must be done before we can conclude that for a healthy population minimalist shoe wear is better.  But it does raise some interesting thoughts.


For example, would our feet, knees and backs be better off if we could train our feet to tolerate not wearing supportive shoes during the day?  I’m sure the answer is a resounding “maybe for some people…sometimes”.


I’m certainly not advocating throwing away the shoes that you are enjoying now.   But for many people, training their feet to function without much support may be a healthy thing to do. 


If you’re thinking about making the switch to a minimalist ...

Headaches:  Relief for chronic headaches

Rest, exercise, heat or ice packs….or a long, hot shower….may be all you need to relieve an occasional tension headache.  If not, perhaps there are structural or biomechanical problems that need to be addressed.

The neck and head are complex structures.  Within these structures are many tissues that may be causing repetitive or chronic headaches.


A common cause of occipital headaches is the upper cervical spine and related tissue reaching into the occiput.  This is an area rich in nerve tissue.  When spasm occurs in the muscles around this area, the nerves can become irritated, causing immediate localized pain.


As spasm continues, it may lead to postural adaptation in which the facet joints of the upper cervical spine become compressed.  C1/2 and C2/3 can refer directly to behind and above the eyes.  This is often how headaches extend into these areas.


The cause of spasm.

Why do these areas fall into spasm and irritation?  There may be an underlying condition of the cervical spine.  Joint irritation will cause muscles to spasm in an attempt to prevent motion and further irritation.  This will cause joint stiffness and muscle weakness with reduced activity.

Weak muscles will also spasm as they are ...


I'd like to once again WELCOME all of our new members to STAR Fitness Center!  We're excited you've decided to join us, and we look forward to helping you achieve all your fitness and health goals!

The holidays are approaching, and with that comes holiday calories!  Don't fight the bulge alone.  Refer a friend to STAR Fitness Center, and if your friend joins, you receive $5 off your monthly dues!  That's right!  When a second friend joins, you receive $10 off your monthly dues for the length of your contract.  So, spread the word!  Grab your family and friends and start your New Year's Resolution NOW! 

The staff of STAR Fitness Center would also like to extend a VERY HAPPY VETERAN'S DAY to all of our Veterans, and we'd like to say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.  THANK YOU also to all active military men and women.  Without your dedication to our country, we would not be where we are today. 

We would also like to take this opportunity to spread Holiday Cheer this year by giving back to our community.  We are collecting non-perishable foods throughout the month of November that will be delivered to the Covington Food Bank at the end of the month.  We are also planning a Toy Drive during December, in an effort to make a few children just a little happier this Christmas. 

DON'T FORGET ABOUT OUR BLACK FRIDAY SALE!  You can purchase $50 gift cards for just $5 all day Friday, November 23.  These make the perfect stocking stuffers or gifts for those "hard to shop for" family members and friends.  Current members can use these gift cards towards personal training packages, and new members can use these towards the initial investment of a new contract.  There is NO limit to the number of gift cards you can purchase; however, only 1 gift card can be used at a time. 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and your family.  STAY SAFE and STAY HEALTHY! 





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Fitness Tip Of The Month
Schedule your workouts at home. Have a plan. Look at a planner and write out your exercise appointments one month in advance. If something comes...